Lucas County Sheriff’s deputies and officers owed thousands of dollars in comp time accrued during the past several years were paid this week.
The payouts amounted to approximately $450,000 total, paid out to about 90 employees, according to the Lucas County Office of Management and Budget.
Payments ranged from $22.80 to $31,879.31, with an average of $5,089.45. Twelve individuals had payments of more than $10,000, said Kelleigh Decker, budget manager in the office of management and budget.
The funds owed date to several years ago, when employees in the sheriff’s office agreed as a budget aid to forgo payment and save up comp time to be paid out in the future.
“It was better to pay it now than to have it remain on the books as a liability,” said Lucas County Commissioner Carol Contrada. “We want to meet our obligations. It is an obligation we are carrying on the books, and we want to reduce our liability.”
Pat Mangold, president of UAW Local 3056, which represents employees of the sheriff’s department, said the payouts are part of ongoing contract negotiations. The union has been in negotiation with department officials for four to five months, Mr. Mangold said.
He said all employees eligible for comp time payments should have been paid Friday.
“There’s nothing negative about it,” Mr. Mangold said.
Unionized sheriff’s employees recently struck down a proposed contract 217-0; negotiations will move into mediation, Mr. Mangold said.
Costs in the sheriff’s office have been a topic of concern for county officials for some time.
When the commissioners passed their 2012 budget, they put the sheriff’s office on a quarterly appropriations schedule to help monitor expenses. The office is projected to spend more than $28 million this year, about $3.2 million over the $24.8 million for which the office was budgeted for 2012.
The 2013 budget Lucas County Commissioners approved on Tuesday allocates $26.3 million for the sheriff’s office. The vast majority — 77 percent — of the county’s approximately $121 million general fund pays for criminal justice functions, such as the sheriff’s office, prosecutor, and courts.
Sheriff James Telb leaves office at the end of this year; he did not return calls Friday.
Blade staff writer Taylor Dungjen contributed to this report.
Contact Kate Giammarise at: email@example.com, 419-724-6091, or on Twitter @KateGiammarise.